360-degree audience research to understand the post-Covid world

project overview

Research, insight and evaluation / Quantitative and Qualitative Research

Hull Truck Theatre

In common with many theatres, post-pandemic recovery at Hull Truck Theatre presented new challenges for the organisation. Audience patterns had changed. The need to increase pricing was growing. The cost of living crisis loomed large.

Having agreed the research objectives, we proposed a mixed methods approach, beginning with some analysis of Hull Truck Theatre’s box office data. We divided audiences into three broad groups: 

  • lapsed audiences (those who hadn’t returned since Covid), 
  • new audiences (those who had attended for the first time post-pandemic), and 
  • retained audiences (those who had attended before and after Covid).

We then used the same three lenses to carry out two pieces of primary research: a quantitative online survey and a series of qualitative online focus groups.

Our survey helped us start to understand where these groups differed and where they were the same, but some conflicting insights emerged about customer attitudes to pricing. This is where the qualitative research allowed us to dig a bit deeper and our online focus groups clarified the nuanced attitudes of audiences.

Overall, this research strategy enabled us to recommend an approach to pricing, positioning and messaging which could help towards delivering Hull Truck Theatre’s income goals whilst strengthening the very special connection the organisation has with its audiences.   

The corner of a black brick building with trees surrounding it.

Working with Indigo was a seamless process from start to finish. The team really took the time to understand and challenge our brief and came up with a clear strategy and project timeline which ensured that we all knew who needed to do what, and when, so that the project stayed on track. There were different specialists who tackled each area - from a ticketing deep dive, to qualitative and quantitative audience research. We felt well connected with them throughout the duration of the project and felt that they had a good understanding of what we were ultimately trying to achieve.

Hull Truck team member

Using the findings from the report, we have revisited our pricing strategy and made some minor adjustments. We have also gained a deeper understanding of our audiences wants and needs and motivations and barriers for visiting our theatre and also enjoying a cultural experience in general. We are looking to use the data to help inform our fundraising strategy going forward as there were some important insights reflected here too.

Hull Truck staff member

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